Kennedy School Government Application Essays

(I see a lot of drafts of these and other essays talking about making change without any specific idea of what that means to that person.) And cite specific changes (impacts) you intend to deliver through your service. These changes need not be comprehensive, “save the world” level changes – it’s more realistic, more credible, and probably more interesting to the reader to discuss changes to a given corner of the world, or segment of population, or focused concern.

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They touch on theories, but the focus is on solutions in a developing world context. HKS offers lots of joint degree opportunities (law, med, business). []The intersection of business and government is increasingly important.

Also, people are interested in being social entrepreneurs – outside the traditional channels of non-profits – they want to create their own opportunities to make a difference in society.

Today’s guest is Matt Clemons, Director of Admissions at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Students have an average of 3 years of work experience before starting the program. You’ll encounter cases in the classroom, but it’s not the predominant teaching method. []Policy degrees teach candidates tools to manage strategies and policies that impact people and populations.

He’s joining us to discuss the programs HKS offers and what it takes to get accepted. Work experience is important – it helps students make informed decisions and also prepares them to contribute to the program (there’s a lot of group work). []The programs are similar in structure: core curriculum in the first year, professional development in the summer, and a professional project in the second year. Similar to what one would learn in b-school, MPA students learn economics, policy analysis, and quantitative analysis.

[]One example: A mid-career grad who had a career in government (White House, Pentagon, etc.) is now the CEO of the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he has a reputation for building strong ties between the franchise and the local community.

Is there a recent grad whose experience typifies the opportunities HKS opened up?If somebody’s compass isn’t pointed in that direction, that makes us pause. I went to a public high school and saved money for college by working at a fast food restaurant. I never had it in my mind that I would be working for an institution like Harvard.When is the application available, and when is it due? []The biggest mistake is not following instructions. I’m not trying to admit Gandhi to the Kennedy School – I’m trying to admit you. I also share the story of being rejected from the Peace Corps – ultimately, the best thing that ever happened to me, because I ended up teaching English in Korea, where I met my wife.HKS offers joint degree programs within Harvard (HBS, HLS) and concurrent degree programs with few schools at Harvard and with several outside of Harvard (MIT Sloan, Stanford, etc). []All concurrent programs require two separate applications – there are no shared committees or shared evaluations (even for programs within Harvard).We don’t look at applications together with the other programs.has guided thousands of applicants to acceptances at top universities since 1994 – they know what works and what doesn’t, so follow Linda Abraham on Google and contact Accepted to get started or visit for all your admissions consulting needs today!HKS seeks well-rounded master’s students – people with proven academic success, strong leadership and career potential, and “commitment to advancing the public interest” (quoting the dean).The school also wants the student body to be diverse.Your application overall will address these factors; the essays provide a valuable opportunity to underscore through specific detail how you meet these criteria and will be a unique contributor.Most important, use the essays to weave together these elements into a coherent story and presentation – one that clarifies your path to your public interest goals.Question 1 for both programs: The Harvard Kennedy School motto, echoing the President for whom the School is named, is “Ask what you can do.” Please share with the Admissions Committee your plans to create positive change through your public leadership and service. In describing your plans/goals, clarify what “positive change” means to you – it’s easy to forget that it means different things to different people.


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